Welcome to "Advertising 101" ... today we're having a quiz.
When I was in school, I really used to hate it when I bopped into the classroom and the first thing out of the teacher's mouth was: "Today we're having a quiz". Now that I'm the one behind the desk in good old ADVERTISING 101 -- a required course, not an elective, by the way -- I feel a little differently about it. So...today, class, we're having a quiz. Put away your books...no cheating...no crib notes...no peeking over your neighbor's shoulder...just answer all the questions honestly, right from the gut. Then we'll see how much you've learned about advertising over all these years you've been in business. And we'll see how much you still have to learn to make yourself a smart, successful advertiser. 1) "CPM" is... a) The monogram of Claude Percy Magnavox, the guy who invented television. b) A measurement of the cost effectiveness of an ad or commercial. c) A special computer used by advertising agencies. d) None of the above. 2) "REACH" is... a) The total number of people who are exposed to an ad campaign. b) What you do at the dinner table if you have a big family. c) Completely unrelated to advertising. d) Usually about the same as sleeve length. 3) Humor is not an effective creative tool to use in retail advertising. ( ) True ( ) False 4) The amount of money spent to broadcast a television schedule (how many times you run the commercial) is far more important than how much money and effort you invest in the production of the commercial. ( ) True ( ) False 5) Most direct marketers consider a satisfactory response rate to a direct mailer to be... a) 1/2% to 2% b) 2-1/2% to 5% c) 5% to 10% d) 10% to 20% 6) For a small retailer with limited cash flow who doesn't advertise frequently, a set advertising budget is really not necessary. ( ) True ( ) False 7) Retail advertising should emphasize price and leave the fancy "image" stuff to the big national advertisers. ( ) True ( ) False 8) Match the term with the correct media... a) ROP Radio b) ROS Newspaper c) AM & FM Television 9) Billboards are not a good way to reach white collar male buyers with high discretionary income. ( ) True ( ) False 10) Newspaper advertising space is measured by... a) Column inches b) Agate lines c) Both of the above d) Neither of the above 11) Long, wordy copy in a newspaper ad is a real turnoff for readers and will usually prevent them from reading the whole ad and remembering the message. ( ) True ( ) False 12) "ARBITRON" is... a) A new kind of big screen TV, b) The big tube that makes a radio station's transmitter work. c) A tool used by a commercial artist to design ads electronically. d) A prominent radio and television rating service. 13) "HALFTONE" is a term most likely to be used by... a) A Television cameraman or engineer. b) A printer. c) A radio announcer. d) A house painter. 14) "HUT LEVEL" is... a) What a quarterback says to his center to make him hike the ball better. b) A term of audience measurement relating to television ratings. c) An oxymoron. d) The guy who's writing this is a moron. 15) When radio and television rating services refer to a program's "RATING" and "SHARE", they're talking about exactly the same thing, because the two terms are interchangeable. ( ) True ( ) False
1) b) "CPM" means "Cost Per Thousand". It's used to determine how much it costs an advertiser to reach one thousand people with his ad or commercial. The formula used for determining Cost Per Thousand is: CPM = Cost/Gross Impressions divided by 1000. In other words, if a full page newspaper ad costs $500 and you know from the circulation figures that the newspaper reaches 100,000 people, your CPM is $5.00 ($500 divided by 100 = $5.00). It's a handy way to roughly compare the cost effectiveness of various media or different advertising schedules.
2) a) "REACH" is simply defined as the total number of different persons who can be expected to see or hear your advertising message or your complete advertising schedule at least once. It's a term that's most often used in broadcast rating services provide all the necessary information as part of their surveys.
3) False. Although humor is not the sole criterion for making an ad more attention getting or more memorable, it can play a part...if the ad is well done and not offensive. Several years ago, the Wall Street Journal commissioned a study by Video Storyboards, Inc., a New York ad testing company, with the aim of determining viewer response to 25 then-current national television commercials. 20,000 adults were questioned. Response to the seven humorous commercials in that group of 25 was overwhelmingly positive. Remember Alex the beer lapping dog in the Strohs commercials? And everybody surely remembers "Where's the beef?". Whether or not you personally like those commercials, you'll have to agree that they did attract attention and they were memorable. And in advertising, "memorable" is the name of the game.
4) False. Although the frequency with which you run a commercial or ad certainly is important, the effort that goes into the creation of an ad or commercial can sometimes be even more important than the size of the budget allocated to put it on the air (or in the newspaper). In that same Wall Street Journal study, it was found that the advertisers with the biggest budgets didn't necessarily have the best liked or most memorable commercials. And, if the buyers can't remember the commercial, they're much less likely to remember the product or the message, no matter how many times they're exposed to it.
5) a) Surprised? If an 1/2% to 2% return rate sounds low to you, remember that those figures are only averages. In some cases, direct mail response can run much higher, particularly if you're using a highly qualified list either compiled from your own customer files or obtained from a very reliable source. You can also improve your response rate by timing your mailings to hit immediately before buyers are ready to buy (that means following seasonal trends), or by offering giveaway items, legitimately hot specials, or including coupons in your mailings. Direct mail is one of the very best methods of generating immediate sales for retailers. But, just like every other part of of the advertising game, you've got to play it smart if you expect it to help you become a winner.
6) False. If you answered "True" to this one, excuse me while I gag. When any business person tells me that he/she doesn't have an advertising budget, I damn near get apoplexy. That's like saying you only eat when you have extra money! Sustenance, my friends...that's what advertising is all about. So you must plan for a certain amount of advertising expense just to keep your business alive. There are lots of different ways to determine how big your ad budget should be and how you should spend it -- and we'll continue to deal with some of those in future columns. For now, believe me when I say you don't have to be a PhD to put together a very basic ad budget based on past performance, seasonal trends and projected annual sales. Keep it simple. But, for crying out loud, set some kind of budget. Because advertising is the food that keeps your business alive. Without it, you'll certainly starve to death.
7) False. The common misconception about "image" advertising is that it's just a lot of fluff, and that good, hard-nose retailers don't need an image..they just need to advertise good prices. Horse manure! Every business needs an image, whether it's a "quality" image, a "small, friendly and full service" image...a "biggest inventory in town" image...something by which you want to be known.
A number of years ago I was taught about an Image Triangle. Side #1 represents how you think about your store (or your self image). Side #2 is what your customers believe your store to be (or your actual image). Side #3 represents what your store really is. Ideally, the triangle should be equilateral, with all sides being equal. But in order to get to that point, you might have to do a little work on what we call "positioning", by turning your store (both in fact and in your customers' minds) into just the kind of store you want it to be. To do that, you'll have to develop a consistent approach to your advertising so all your ads, your commercials, your mailers, even your logo, all reflect the "image" you want your customers to see and believe. Once you have established that image (or identity), people will not only know who and what you are whenever they see your ads, but they're also more likely to actually come looking for you on their own whenever they want your kind of store.
8) a) Newspaper. "ROP" means "Run of Paper". It's the lowest advertising rate available in any newspaper, because it gives the publication the right to locate your ads on whichever page and in whatever section it chooses.
b) Television. "ROS" means "Run of Schedule". It's kind of the ROS of the television business. Sometimes it's referred to as "BTA" or "Best Time Available". Both ROS and BTA are also used in radio advertising.
c) Radio. Ah, heck, every quiz needs at least one "gimme". And I hope you know the difference (between AM and FM, I mean).
9) False. Outdoor advertising is an excellent way to reach a discriminating male audience. A #100 outdoor showing (that's about 20 to 25 billboards in a market of about 100,000 to 150,000) will reach 90.7% of managerial and administrative types an average of 28.6 times per month. It will reach 90% of all college grads an average of 26 times. And, it reaches 90.3% of all heads of household with minimum incomes of $35,000 an average of 28.4 times each. I'm not necessarily suggesting that you use outdoor advertising; that depends on your individual circumstances. I'm only suggesting that you shouldn't rule it out before learning more about it. As a supplement to your regular print, broadcast or direct mail advertising, as a long term identity builder, or to help promote some special event, it might be just the ticket.
10) c) Although most newspapers determine retail ad size by the column inch (number of columns wide multiplied by number of inches deep), some still measure by lineage. An agate line is 1/14 of a column inch (14 lines per inch). So, an ad that's 3 columns wide by 5 inches deep might be expressed as either 15 column inches (3 x 5 = 15) or as 210 agate lines (3 x 5 x 14 = 210 lines). The end result is the same, but you should be familiar with both methods of measurement.
11) False. Ongoing research by Starch, the leader in magazine and newspaper readership surveys, continues to prove that the length of the copy in an ad does not, by itself, determine success or failure. In a number of studies, long copy has actually increased ad readership and aided retention. It all depends on the product you're selling, the way the copy is written (and not everybody can write long copy correctly), and the market you're trying to reach. It also depends on the other elements of the ad, like a strong headline, attention-getting graphics, and a good design. The key to an ad with long copy (or short copy or medium length copy for that matter) is to catch the readers' attention and stimulate their curiosity. If you do that successfully, they'll read almost anything.
12) "ARBITRON" is one of two companies providing regular television research (the other is A.C. Nielsen Company) and one of several companies that furnishes radio data. The purpose of the surveys is to provide an overview of listening and viewing habits in local markets. For a fee, the information is available to broadcast stations, advertising agencies, and retail advertisers. To an advertiser or an ad agency, media research is valuable because it serves as a guideline to help select the most effective advertising media. It helps eliminate personal prejudice and plain old guesswork as a method of choosing the right station(s), because it tells us approximately how many different people in various age groups, or which sex, and in some instances in which economic/occupational group or from which specific geographic area are watching each television program or listening to individual radio stations, during specific time periods. By learning to use research data, you can save a great deal of wasted money by using only those stations that can best deliver the kind of audience you want...the kind that most closely matches your customer profile.
13) b) "HALFTONES" are black and white photographs that are reproduced for the print media or in any printed literature by turning the photo into a series of tiny dots. The dots allow the printer's equipment to "read" all the various gray tones in the photograph and to reproduce the image accurately with proper lights, darks, and mid-tone all in the right places. If you use a magnifying glass on one of the black and white photos in this magazine, you'll see all the thousands of little dots. Basically, the halftone is created by reproducing the original picture on a special graphics camera that uses "screening" material of various densities to put the dots in place. Most newspapers use a very coarse "65 line screen"...that's 65 lines per inch...so the detail in the photos is usually not very crisp. Some magazines use a fine 120 line screen, so the reproduction quality is much better. Some high quality printers and a few very specialized magazines, like SHOOTING INDUSTRY, use a super-fine 133 or 150 line screen, so the detail is incredibly sharp and the dots are hardly visible.
14) b) "HUT LEVEL" is "Home Using Television", and it appears in all the television rating surveys. It refers to the number of television households using television during a given time period, and it's expressed as a percentage of all qualified television households within the survey area. For instance, a HUT LEVEL of 57 in the 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. time period means that 57% of the television-owning homes within the survey area had their sets turned on to some channel or other. Knowing the HUT LEVEL helps media buyers determine at what times of day, on which days of the week, and even during which seasons of the year the level of television viewing is the highest.
15) False. "Rating" and "Share" are both terms of audience measurement. But "Rating" refers to the number of viewers or listeners tuned to a particular program compared to the total number of people or homes within the survey area.
It's expressed as a percentage and it's usually a fairly low number. "Share" refers to the number of viewers or listeners tuned to a particular program compared only to the number of people who actually have their sets turned on. It's also expressed as a percentage but it's usually a higher number than the "Rating". Sound complicated? Not really. For instance, if a program has a 10 Rating and a 25 Share, that means that 10% of all the units in the area are tuned to that program, but 25% of the sets that are actually turned on are tuned to it.
How Did You Score?
Alright students. Now it's time to grade yourself. Then we'll see what kind of smart advertisers you really are:
15 right = "A"
You're operating in a rarefied atmosphere, ace! You're not only a plenty smart advertiser, but you're probably in the wrong business. You should don a three-piece suit and open an advertising agency, or maybe even write a column on retail advertising. Of course, there's always room for improvement, because when it comes to this enigma we call "Advertising", nobody knows everything.
13 or 14 right = "B"
Not bad. Just keep up the good work and pretty soon you'll probably be going into partnership with one of the "A"s who opened his own ad agency. In the meantime, your own retail business is probably going to keep getting more and more profitable, because you're obviously willing to continue learning how to improve your advertising and how to get the best results from your efforts.
11 or 12 right = "C"
So, so. You do know something about advertising, but maybe not as much as you think you do. So keep an open mind, keep learning and trying to improve, and your business will eventually show a marked improvement.
9 or 10 right = "D"
Uh-oh. I see trouble coming. Really, guys and gals...this test wasn't that tough. If this was the best you could do, better start broadening your advertising horizons...FAST! And maybe it's time to start listening to others and accepting constructive criticism from those who have enjoyed some success with their advertising. Obviously, you haven't, except maybe by accident.
8 or less right = "F"
Give this guy a dart board! It's got to work better than whatever hit-and-miss method he's using to plan his advertising now. If you're among the poor unfortunates who just couldn't pass muster on this simple test. I suggest you head for the nearest phone book...do not pass "GO" and do not collect $200 (you probably won't, anyway, at this rate). Then flip to "A" in the Yellow Pages and find the section labeled "Advertising Agencies". Because if anyone needs help from professionals, it's you. You're hurting, pal, and the prognosis for recovery is not good.
Don't Feel Bad If You Didn't
If you couldn't answer all the questions correctly, don't feel too bad. Most retailers' knowledge of advertising is limited to their own personal experiences, which tends to be somewhat narrow and repetitive. They do the same thing(s) over and over again, seldom venturing into new territory and even less often being inquisitive enough to try to learn about new options that might be more successful for them. If you're an ambitious retailer with the drive to be successful, you should try a little harder to be a smart advertiser. For a retail firearms dealer, learning more about advertising might be just the edge you need to keep your cash register ringing more often than your competitors'.
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|Title Annotation:||firearms store marketing|
|Date:||Jun 1, 1989|
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